Gov. Newsom demands investigation into California power shutoffs

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – Governor Gavin Newsom is demanding an investigation into the latest round of power shutoffs in California.

The energy shortage and blackouts have been prompted by the extreme heat across the state.

Rolling blackouts could affect millions and are likely to continue for the next three days.

The state’s electrical grid operator ordered those rolling blackouts for the first time in 20 years.

The governor is alarmed at how the agency and other state regulators acted in predicting and planning for this event.

“I am not pleased with what’s happened,” Governor Newsom said. 

A frustrated Governor Gavin Newsom Monday called for an investigation into the state’s energy regulators for their failure to properly brace for the current energy shortage and subsequent power disruptions.

“We will lay out in detailed terms to make sure this simply doesn’t happen again,” Newsom said. 

The governor sent a letter to the California Energy Commission, the Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent System Operator with concerns that the shortages and shutoffs over the weekend happened without prior warning and enough time to prepare.

Leaders of Cal ISO say they constantly warned the public utility commission that this could happen, saying the situation could’ve been avoided. 

The CPUC hasn’t commented.

“We see how the grid operates, we tell the regulatory authority on how the grid operates. They’re under a lot of pressure, under a lot of people to do a lot of different things. I guess we’re going to have to do a better job of making our voice heard through all of that,” Steve Berberich, the CEO/President California ISO, said. 

Newsom Monday also signed a proclamation allowing utilities and other energy users to use backup sources amid a record heatwave scorching the state.

But state leaders say rolling blackouts over the next three days are certain as the heat overwhelms California’s electrical grid.

With an estimated shortage of up to 4,400 megawatts by Monday night, energy regulators estimated about 3.3 million customers could be hit with power outages.

It could be one of, if not the, largest rolling blackouts in California history.

“It’s going to be really disruptive to people and I truly, truly wish we had other options at hand,” Berberich said. 

State leaders are urging Californians to do everything they can to conserve energy, especially until about 10 p.m., including holding off on using major appliances and setting the A/C to 78 degrees. 

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